PROFILE: Organic baby food pioneer Claus Hipp turns 85

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Many TV viewers still know Claus Hipp from commercials as a friendly older gentleman with a white wreath of hair standing in a field holding up a jar of baby food: "This is what I stand for with my name!" Millions of people are likely to have grown up with his carrot porridge. Sunday marks his 85th birthday.

"I'm doing well," Claus Hipp told the German Press Agency. The business of the group, which has annual sales of around one billion euros, is now run by his two sons. But the senior is still a regular at the company in Pfaffenhofen, Upper Bavaria, has an office and secretariat there and continues to be busy, a company spokesman said.

Claus Hipp will celebrate his birthday on Sunday with his wife, his five children, grandchildren - "there are now 15" - and relatives. "The day after, I'll invite the staff in Pfaffenhofen to a joint lunch. With over 1300 employees, it gets a little crowded, but cozy," he said.

Looking back, what is he particularly proud of? "Of the positive development and successful establishment of organic farming," he said.

"When we started using organically produced raw materials in Hipp baby food in 1956 and I tried to establish a network of organic producers, I was laughed at from many different sides. Today, it's hard to imagine baby food without organic."

However, he was not only named "Eco Manager of the Year" by WWF Germany and the business magazine "Capital," but was also awarded the "Golden Windbag for the most brazen advertising lie in 2012" by the consumer protection organization Foodwatch. The reason was the enormous sugar content of Hipp children's teas. The company subsequently took these teas off the market.

As a young man, he wanted to become a painter, and was well on his way as a master student in Munich. For good measure, he also studied law and even graduated with a doctorate. On the side, he earned money as a rider stuntman in film. After his father's early death, however, he was suddenly head of the family business. Hipp switched production to organic and went from outsider to trendsetter.

Along the way, the entrepreneur taught in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi as a professor at the art academy and taught business administration at the university there. He still flies there today for compact courses, and he is still the Georgian honorary consul for Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia.

He saved the baroque Herrenrast Chapel near his family's farm from decay, is still a patron of the Munich and Pfaffenhofen food banks, a member of the Senate of the Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs, and serves on the boards of the Munich Künstlerhaus Foundation and the Swiss-Bavarian Business and Cultural Foundation. "I don't play the oboe at the moment, but I do paint - time permitting," Hipp said.

And what is he looking forward to in the near future? "To every meeting with my children and grandchildren."/rol/DP/he (dpa)

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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